* As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Gathering Activities for Meetings

Gathering Activities

Gathering activities are simple, quick tasks that scouts do before a meeting starts. They keep scouts busy while waiting for everyone to arrive. These activities help set the tone for the meeting. They can be games, puzzles, crafts, or other small projects.

For Cub Scouts, gathering activities are especially important. Younger scouts can get restless while waiting. These activities help them focus and stay engaged. They also give leaders time to prepare for the meeting.

Gathering activities encourage social interaction. Scouts can talk and work together on a fun project. This helps build friendships and teamwork. It also creates a positive and welcoming environment.

Overall, gathering activities are a key part of scouting meetings. They provide a smooth start to the meeting. They help scouts settle in and get ready to participate. Simple and fun, these activities are a great way to begin any scout meeting.

Do you have a gathering activity to share? Contact me, and I’ll post it here.

Neckerchief Slides

Homemade neckerchief slides are a Scouting tradition and make excellent gathering activities. Scouts enjoy making their own unique slides, which they can proudly wear. These gathering activities are simple, fun, and allow scouts to be creative while waiting for the meeting to start.

Making neckerchief slides as gathering activities helps scouts develop crafting skills and express their individuality. It’s also a great way for them to socialize and share ideas. Leaders can prepare materials in advance, ensuring a smooth and engaging start to the meeting.

Here are some suggestions for making neckerchief slides as gathering activities:

  • Beads and Pipe Cleaners: Thread colorful beads onto pipe cleaners, then twist them into different shapes.
  • Bottle Caps: Decorate bottle caps with paint or stickers and attach a loop of elastic or a ring to the back.
  • Clay: Use air-dry or polymer clay to shape unique designs, then let them dry or bake them.
  • Paracord: Weave paracord into small designs or knots and attach a loop.
  • Buttons: Glue large, decorative buttons to a small piece of felt with a loop on the back.
  • Nature Items: Use small pinecones, pieces of wood, or stones, and attach a backing.

These gathering activities are a great way for scouts to start their meetings with creativity and fun. They’ll enjoy making and showing off their homemade neckerchief slides.


Wolf Neckerchief Slide

Making a wolf neckerchief slide is a fun and engaging gathering activity for Cub Scouts, especially Wolves. These gathering activities allow scouts to be creative and make something personal. It’s a hands-on task that fits well with Cub Scout adventures. For a wolf neckerchief slide, scouts can trace a wolf pattern on leather. They then cut it out and decorate it.

Seed Neckerchief Slide Craft

Seed Neckerchief Slide

Making a seed neckerchief slide is a fun and simple gathering activity for scouts. Use a thin slice of a tree branch, about 3 inches in diameter and 1/3 inch thick. Gather assorted dried seeds like sunflower or popcorn. Glue the seeds onto the tree slice in any pattern you like. Once dry, glue a 1/2 inch PVC pipe slice to the back to hold the neckerchief. For a stronger hold, use hot glue.

Scouting for Food Neckerchief Slide

Scouting for Food Neckerchief Slide

Making a Scouting for Food neckerchief slide is a great gathering activity. You need an empty film canister and a food can label. Drill a half-inch hole in the bottom of the canister. Cut the label to fit the canister’s height and wrap it around, allowing for a half-inch overlap. Glue the label on the canister with the open end at the top and the drilled hole at the bottom. Once the glue dries, slide your neckerchief through the hole.

Mini Cub Scout Handbook

Making a mini Cub Scout handbook neckerchief slide is a fun gathering activity. Scan the front, binding, and back of a Cub Scout handbook. Combine the images into one flat picture. Shrink it and print in color. Measure the printed cover’s width and height. Cut a plywood block to match the cover size. Glue the printed cover onto the block, wrapping it around. Trim if needed. Cover with clear varnish. Glue a PVC loop on the back. This gathering activity is simple and lets scouts make a unique, personalized slide. Printing on card stock makes it more durable.

Clock Neckerchief Slide

Making a clock neckerchief slide is a fun gathering activity. Use fun foam in two contrasting colors. Draw and cut out two circles. Draw clock numbers on the smaller circle. Glue it to the center of the larger circle. Push a brad fastener through the center to make the clock hands. Optionally, glue a small circle over the center of the hands. Make a small loop with leather lacing or a chenille stem and glue it to the back for the neckerchief. Let the glue dry before using. This gathering activity is simple and creative.

Other Simple Crafts

Simple crafts make great gathering activities for Scouts. These activities keep scouts busy and engaged while waiting for the meeting to start. Gathering activities that involve crafts help scouts develop creativity and fine motor skills. They are also a fun way to bond with fellow scouts.

Here are some suggestions for simple crafts as gathering activities:

  • Paper Airplanes: Scouts can fold and decorate paper airplanes.
  • Bead Bracelets: Use elastic string and colorful beads.
  • Nature Collages: Create art with leaves, twigs, and flowers.
  • Pinecone Bird Feeders: Cover pinecones with peanut butter and birdseed.
  • Button Art: Make pictures or patterns with old buttons.
  • Clay Figures: Shape simple figures using air-dry clay.

These gathering activities are easy to set up and fun for scouts of all ages.

Craft Stick Picture Frame

A craft stick picture frame is a great gathering activity, especially for Tigers and Wolves. It’s simple and fun. Use craft sticks, glue, and markers. Arrange the sticks into a square or rectangle, then glue them together. Decorate the frame with markers, stickers, or other small items. Once dry, scouts can add a favorite photo. This activity is easy and lets scouts be creative while making something they can use or give as a gift.

Paper Bag Puppets

A den leader asked me about ideas for gathering activities. I suggested paper bag puppets. They’re simple and fun. Use paper bags, markers, and craft supplies like googly eyes and yarn. Scouts can draw faces and add decorations to make their own puppets. This gathering activity is perfect for keeping scouts busy and creative while waiting for the meeting to start. Plus, they can use their puppets for skits and storytelling later.

Homemade Silly Putty Recipe

Having a science-themed meeting with your Scouts? Make a batch of homemade silly putty. It’s stretchy and fun to play with. This makes it one of the best gathering activities. Mix borax, white glue, and water. Add a few drops of food coloring if you like. Stir until it forms a putty-like consistency. Scouts will enjoy this hands-on activity while they wait for the meeting to start. It’s simple, fun, and keeps them engaged.

Homemade Model Magic Recipe

Homemade Model Magic is a great crafting alternative to play-dough, which can be crumbly and messy. Store-bought Model Magic is expensive, so try making your own for a fun gathering activity. Mix baking soda, cornstarch, and water in a pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it forms a dough. Let it cool, then knead until smooth. Scouts can shape it into fun creations. This gathering activity is easy, less messy, and keeps scouts engaged while waiting for the meeting to start.

cub scout trading cards

Cub Scout Trading Cards

Cub Scout Trading Cards are a fun gathering activity. Have Cub Scouts make their own cards with “Cub Scout stats” like name, birthday, rank, achievements, and campouts attended. This craft fits well with sports-themed den or pack meetings. Use index cards or cardstock, markers, and stickers. Scouts can decorate their cards and share them with friends. It’s a simple, engaging way to start the meeting and helps scouts get to know each other better.

Pool Tote Craft

Gathering activities can be seasonal. For a summer activity, have Scouts decorate their own pool totes. Provide plain tote bags, fabric markers, and stickers. Scouts can personalize their bags with their names and fun designs. These decorated totes are perfect for carrying squishy balls, goggles, dive sticks, and other pool accessories. This gathering activity is simple, fun, and practical, giving Scouts a personal and useful item for their summer adventures.

egg carton caterpillar 1

Egg Carton Caterpillar

Here is a fun way to use up egg cartons from Easter. The egg carton caterpillar craft makes a nice gathering activity for a springtime den meeting. You need six egg carton cups, a 12-inch string, bright paints, paintbrushes, googly eyes, glue, and a chenille stem. Punch holes in the cups and thread the string through them. Paint the caterpillar and let it dry. Add the chenille stem for antennae and glue on the eyes. This activity is simple and fun, promoting creativity and using leftover materials.

donut snowmen

Donut Snowmen Craft/Recipe

Some gathering activities can be both a craft and a snack. Make donut snowmen using powdered sugar donuts, pretzels, and a few other simple ingredients. Stack three donuts for the snowman body. Use pretzels for arms, chocolate chips for eyes and buttons. This activity is easy, fun, and tasty. Scouts will enjoy creating and eating their donut snowmen while waiting for the meeting to start. It’s a great winter-themed activity that combines creativity and a treat.


Printables are a fun way to get started while waiting for everyone to arrive. They make excellent gathering activities, keeping scouts busy and engaged. These gathering activities are easy to set up and require minimal materials. Just print them out and hand them to the scouts.

Here are some suggestions for simple printables as gathering activities:

  • Puzzles: Crosswords, mazes, and Sudoku.
  • Word Games: Word searches and Scrambles.
  • Coloring Sheets: Scouting-themed pictures or seasonal images.
  • Dot-to-Dot: Connect the dots for younger scouts.
  • Hidden Pictures: Find the hidden objects in a pictures

A few more are listed below. See lots more puzzles and printables here.

These gathering activities are perfect for starting a meeting on a positive note.

Scouts BSA Basics Crossword

The Scouts BSA Basics Crossword helps Cub Scouts aiming for their Arrow of Light or new Scouts BSA going for their Scout rank. It includes clues about the Scout oath, law, motto, and slogan. It’s a tool to learn and practice these important Scout principles in a fun way.

State Capitals Bingo Cards

state capitals bingo game

State Capitals Bingo Cards are a fun activity for learning state capitals. You can play with cards showing either states or capitals, and choose matching call cards. This game is versatile for different age groups: younger Cub Scouts can match states, while older Webelos can match capitals, using state call cards for extra challenge. It’s a great addition to pack meetings or gatherings, helping Scouts learn geography in an engaging way.

Halloween Picture Bingo

Halloween Bingo Cards

These Halloween Picture Bingo Cards are perfect for den or pack meetings around Halloween. Each set includes 30 unique cards adorned with spooky-themed pictures like black cats and haunted houses. They also come with call cards to facilitate the game. What sets these cards apart is the inclusion of numbers with each image. This makes the game easier to play and helps the caller and players communicate smoothly. For example, a ghost might have the number 1, and a haunted house could be number 3. This numbering system ensures everyone can quickly identify the images and enjoy the game without confusion.

Simple Games and Contests

Simple games and contests are great gathering activities for Scouts. They can be done in just a few minutes and are perfect for keeping scouts engaged while waiting for everyone to arrive. These gathering activities are fun and help build team spirit.

Here are some suggestions for simple games and contests as gathering activities:

  • Caption Contests: Provide funny pictures and have scouts write captions.
  • Guessing Games: Guess the number of candies in a jar or the weight of an object.
  • Simple Games: Duck Duck Goose, Simon Says, and Red Light Green Light.
  • Memory Games: Show a tray of items, cover it, and have scouts list what they remember.
  • Paper Airplane Contest: See whose airplane flies the farthest.

These gathering activities are quick, fun, and perfect for starting a meeting with energy and excitement.

Caption Contest

Host a caption contest with funny or unusual photos. You can use past event photos or create new ones. Display the photos at your meeting or banquet with paper slips nearby. Participants write silly captions and drop them in containers by each photo. During the event, select the top captions for each photo. Project the photos and read out the best captions for everyone to enjoy. It’s a lighthearted way to engage Scouts and have fun at gatherings focused on history or ancestry themes.

Faith and Our Ancestors Game

The Faith and Our Ancestors Game is a fun icebreaker with a genealogy twist. Players ask each other questions about their ancestors’ lives. The game uses a 3×3 grid with different interview questions in each square. Players must talk to nine others, asking a unique question for each space. Questions include topics like why ancestors came to the USA, their bravery in traveling, and their faith for a safe journey. Players also discuss ancestors’ homes, education, jobs, and family traditions. It’s a way to explore family history and connect through shared experiences and beliefs, making it perfect for gatherings focused on ancestry.

When I Was Young

“When I Was Young” is a great gathering activity for events centered on history, photography, or cinema themes, like a Blue and Gold banquet. Collect early grade school photos of adult leaders that resemble them without being too obvious. Number and display these photos, then give attendees answer sheets to guess who’s in each photo. During the event, reveal the answers with a slideshow showing each old photo alongside the person now in a similar pose. It’s a humorous and engaging way to connect generations and add fun to your meeting or event. Younger Cub Scouts can team up with parents for guessing, enhancing the activity’s enjoyment.

The Secret to Starting Strong

Gathering activities are key to a successful scout meeting. They keep scouts busy and engaged while waiting for everyone to arrive. These activities set a positive tone and help scouts transition into the meeting. They can be games, crafts, puzzles, or even simple contests.

Crafts are a popular choice for gathering activities. Scouts can make things like neckerchief slides, paper bag puppets, or pool totes. These projects are simple and fun, allowing scouts to be creative. Plus, they provide a tangible result that scouts can be proud of.

Games and contests are also great for gathering activities. They are quick and energizing. Simple games like Duck Duck Goose or guessing games are perfect. Contests like caption competitions or paper airplane contests add a fun challenge. These activities promote teamwork and friendly competition.

Printables are another easy option for gathering activities. Puzzles, word searches, and coloring sheets are low-prep and keep scouts entertained. They are a good way to start the meeting calmly while still engaging the scouts.

Overall, gathering activities are essential for setting the stage for a successful meeting. They help scouts settle in, socialize, and get ready for the activities ahead. By starting with something fun and engaging, the rest of the meeting is more likely to go smoothly.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scouter Mom